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The Big 12 is not happy with ESPN. They made that abundantly clear on Wednesday when the conference sent a “cease and desist” letter, demanding that the sports network end any and all actions that could harm the Big 12 and its members.
Apparently, the Big 12 believes that ESPN is trying to urge other conferences to take on the remaining members soon after Texas and Oklahoma officially join the SEC. This breakdown of the relationship between the two parties could have ripple effects too.
In fact, Barrett Sallee, a college football analyst for CBS Sports, thinks stuff is about to get real. On Thursday morning, he tweeted:
“It is now abundantly clear that Texas and Oklahoma will play in the SEC next fall. This whole ESPN thing will accelerate the hell out of this process.”
It is now abundantly clear that Texas and Oklahoma will play in the SEC next fall. This whole ESPN thing will accelerate the hell out of this process.
— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) July 29, 2021
There has been speculation from the beginning that the Longhorns and Sooners would figure out a way to make the jump from the Big 12 to the SEC well before the grant of media rights ends in 2025. This latest development only furthers that suspicion, even pushing it as a soon as 2022.
We’re quickly finding out that what’s happening off the field is going to have a much bigger impact than anything that happens on it this upcoming season. Watching the legal battles unfold will be fascinating and certainly worth monitoring.
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Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.